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274                 JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN    LETTER xxvm

Passion " ; that through ages of accumulating wrongs and
almost unrivalled misery, they like us have worshipped
the crucified Nazarene as the crowned and risen Christ,
that to Him with us they bend the adoring knee, and
that like us they lay their dead in consecrated ground to
await through Him a joyful resurrection.

There were five degrees of frost during the night, and
as I lay awake from cold the narratives I had heard
and the extraordinary state of things in which I so un-
expectedly found myself made a very deep impression on
me. There, for the first time in my life, I came into
contact with people grossly ignorant truly, but willing to
suffer " the loss of all things," and to live in " jeopardy
every hour" for religious beliefs, which are not other-
wise specially influential in their lives. My own circum-
stances, too, claimed some consideration, whether to go
forward, or back to Urmi. It is obvious from what I
hear that the bringing my journey to Erzerum to a
successful issue will depend almost altogether on my own
nerve, judgment, and power of arranging, and that at
best there will be serious risks, hardships, and difficulties,
which will increase as winter sets in. After nearly
coming to the cowardly decision to return, I despised
myself for the weakness, and having decided that some
good to these people might come from farther acquaint-
ance with their circumstances, I fell asleep, and now
the die is cast.

- ^ We were ready at daybreak the next morning, but for
tte*žame reasons as those given at Merwana did not, start
till se^n for an eleven hours' march. I tQokJbwo armed
horsemeft-ajid six 'armed footmen, all/fee fellows usSft-
to the work of^reconnoitring^&^'protecting. Three of
them scouted the^liole.jbiEa'e high up on the sides of the
pass, not with the purposeless sensational scouting of
Persian sowars, but with the earnestness of men who